Unlike the ways Hollywood has portrayed labor and birth in decades past, today's stars aren't afraid to open up about the raw and messy side of things, both on and off screen. With movies like What To Expect When You're Expecting and Knocked Up showing the wide range of experiences women can have during childbirth, it's both refreshing and validating to see such honesty. In fact, there are plenty of celeb moms who got super real about birth, and they have been applauded for crushing stereotypes and daring to take makeup-free selfies in a world obsessed with unattainable perfection.
I'll admit that I'm guilty of assuming that the majority of the Hollywood elite live very different—better, fancier, and more lavish—lives than us "common folk." So when celeb parents like Chrissy Tiegen and Lucy Liu allow themselves to be seen fumbling, growing, and learning in various parenthood moments, it does wonders for society's overall perception of what it means to have a child.
Clearly one of the biggest milestones in any mother's journey is childbirth itself. Whether it's unmedicated, a C-section, or anything in between, bringing life into this world is perfect, chaotic, emotional, and uncomfortable all at once. Check out these celeb moms who kept it real about birth.
For whatever reason, some women feel like getting an epidural is somehow cheating or makes them not as strong as mothers who have given birth without medicine. Thankfully, one celeb dispelled that myth. In an interview with People, Megan Fox said she, "was screaming for an epidural— it was level orange pain alert." Fox didn't even try to pretend like childbirth was this easy, glowing experience, either. "It hurts so bad. It was so intense, the first contraction I got was horrific," Fox said of her unexpected labor. Thanks for keeping it real!
Never one to mince words or shy away from a little humor, talking about her childbirth experience on Chelsea Lately, Maya Rudolph said giving birth, "was scary, but it was kind of awesome." Rudolph elaborated on her fears about giving birth saying, "hospitals make me nervous because I feel like hospital equals death, like it smells like dead people and weird fluids that pickle people." A lovely visual from the always eloquent and hilarious SNL alum.
It may sound cliche, but there really are some things in life that you can't truly understand until you've gone through them for yourself. One of those things happen to be the pains associated with labor. In an interview with People, Kristin Cavallari discussed her difficult labor and delivery. "The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced," she said. Not to leave people thinking pregnancy and birth are completely horrible, she went on to say, "it was so painful but a different kind of pain—because I knew we were going to meet our son."
No two birth stories are ever alike, but Mayim Bialik's homebirth with her second child is definitely unique. On Bialik's website, Kveller, she shared how she got the whole family involved in the delivery—including her first child, Miles. "Miles was carried out of his highchair to cut the cord," she wrote. "A small spurt of blood startled him, and he promptly asked my husband to finish the job." She went on to reiterate that it was still a wonderful experience overall, but she certainly didn't spare any details.
Birth and the days that immediately follow are very much linked. In a Facebook post, Zoe Saldana shared her traumatic birth and recovery experience. "Your body experiences a kind of trauma through childbirth that is difficult to explain unless you've had that experience." Saldana went on to explain just how challenging it was, saying, "everything from my thyroid to my platelets crashed. Thank God, we are all doing great now, but my body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born."
When you realize that you're going to be a mother, it can be easy to begin comparing yourself to other women. One celeb mom did just that during her labor experience. According to The Huffington Post, Miranda Kerr said, " I actually thought I was going to die at one point." She even echoed the kind of self-doubt other moms have. "I kept thinking, how do women do this?" Kerr questioned herself, which is arguably a rite of passage during labor and delivery.
One thing most people don't tell you about giving birth is that your body will still look somewhat pregnant right after. In an interview with Us Weekly, Jennifer Lopez revealed what childbirth did to her body. "I remember my flabby belly hanging out right after I gave birth," she said. "I kind of laughed and just didn't care." Thank goodness someone is finally telling it like it is about the whole post-pregnancy pooch thing.
I had a friend who once said, "giving birth was like going to Burning Man, but you go home with a baby." That may sound weird, but oddly enough, my friend isn't alone in that department. On Today, Alanis Morissette said birth, "was a transcendental experience, I just went to this whole other world. The experience was beyond pain." Perhaps my friend is on to something after all.
The one thing films and television may have gotten right about birth is that a woman's mind can experience some X-Files level situations. According to Us Weekly, during childbirth, Beyoncé, "had a very strong connection with my child. I know it sounds crazy, but I felt a communication, we were talking." Maybe she was being metaphorical or maybe the Illuminati is real and babies can talk in the womb.
Let's be honest about the whole pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood thing for a second: it's not always pretty. In fact, it's rarely pretty. In between morning sickness, sweaty labor, and clothes covered in baby spit-up, there are plenty of not so cute moments. According to Elle, Rachel Zoe dressed up for delivery. "The problem is, it's such an unglamorous experience that if you feel really unattractive, it makes it so much worse," Zoe explained her motivation behind her choice to go glam.
An amazing thing that childbirth can do is that it can give you strength and confidence you never knew you had. The unpredictable nature of labor can also quickly make you lose all that confidence, too. In an interview with People, Christina Applegate talked about the highs and lows of birth. In light of recently battled cancer and undergone a double mastectomy, Applegate said, "[my chest] is very private to me. But at that moment of pulling her out, I just tore that gown off." Yet with every amazing, miraculous experience, there's usually a catch. "I had my birth plan, but plans are a big joke, you know," Applegate said of her failed epidural. One thing is for sure, though: childbirth is just as varied as the women who experience it.